College Sports

Lecorn stepping up for South Carolina

South Carolina wide receiver Dion Lecorn celebrates a touchdown with teammates earlier this season.
South Carolina wide receiver Dion Lecorn celebrates a touchdown with teammates earlier this season.

Dion Lecorn is proof that good things sometimes come to those who wait.

The South Carolina wideout bided his time while the other members of the Gamecocks' nationally ranked freshman receiving class took their turns first.

Then after cracking the starting lineup in late September, Lecorn waited six games before getting a chance to prove he could do more than block downfield and act as a decoy for leading receiver Kenny McKinley.

Through it all, Lecorn demonstrated remarkable patience for a member of a generation used to getting everything -- from sports scores on the ESPN crawl to Google results -- immediately.

"I kind of knew it had to come soon," Lecorn said of his breakout performance last week at Arkansas. "You can't throw all of them to Kenny."

For nine games, the Gamecocks threw nearly everything to McKinley while waiting for a complementary receiver to emerge. But it was tough for Lecorn to do much when only a couple of passes came his way each game.

But that changed last week. Against the Razorbacks' aggressive man coverage, USC coaches needed someone to run the fade routes that Sidney Rice hauled in against Arkansas in the second half of the 2006 game.

Enter the 5-foot-11, 217-pound Lecorn, who notched career-highs with eight catches for 109 yards and scored a touchdown in the Gamecocks' 48-36 loss.

Not bad for a player who watched the Georgia game on TV from his home in Ocala, Fla., was on the scout team the first three weeks of the season and had 11 receptions for 100 yards entering the Arkansas game.

"Maybe he's got a little bit more talent than we thought because he can catch it and go," USC coach Steve Spurrier said. "He doesn't catch it and fall down. Come out of his break and make some yards. He's a good player, likes to play.

"And he's a good blocker downfield. Finally got a receiver who can really block downfield."

Lecorn arrived at USC with impressive receiving credentials. He posted consecutive seasons of at least 57 catches and 1,100 receiving yards at Trinity Catholic High while playing for Kerwin Bell, the former Florida quarterback who is now the coach at Jacksonville (Fla.) University.

Growing up a half-hour from Gainesville, Lecorn was a die-hard Florida fan who attended all of the team's home games and was 8 when the Spurrier-coached Gators beat Florida State in the Sugar Bowl to win the 1996 national championship.

Lecorn said he spoke briefly with Urban Meyer when the Gators' coach came to Trinity Catholic to recruit quarterback John Brantley, who signed at Florida. But Lecorn said he never received a "full offer" from his boyhood team.

The four-star prospect (according to Rivals.com) had plenty of other options, getting offers from South Florida, Central Florida, LSU, Alabama and Ole Miss.

But if Lecorn could not play for the Gators, he would play for their former coach. Asked why he chose the Gamecocks, Lecorn's answer was succinct -- "Spurrier."

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